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Vegan Dragon Chicken Soycurls

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Vegan Dragon Chicken Soycurls  – a plant-based twist on a Indo-Chinese classic that is easy to make with simple ingredients.

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Continuing with fabulous and interesting Indian fare with this vegan spin on Dragon Chicken – chewy soy curls in a sweet and spicy sauce that is deliciously good. A mouth watering Indo-Chinese vegan dinner that is rich in flavor and taste and unique. Indo- Chinese is an extensive subcuisine of Indian cuisine with various fusion dishes like meat or cauliflower manchurian, Chili paneer or meats,  Indo Chinese styles of fried rice, noodles, chopsuey, veggie stir fries and more. Yes there are Indian restaurants dedicated to just this fusion cuisine. There are more vegan versions coming to the blog this year!

This dish can be served as a starter but I usually serve it for lunch or dinner. It can be easily made at home when you crave a restaurant-style take-out.

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Like many Indochinese restaurant-style dishes, this one is uses fairly easily available ingredients to make at home. It’s mostly the garlic, the bell peppers, and cashew nuts, soy sauce, black pepper, chilies and ketchup that deliver unique sweet and spicy notes to this dish.

what is dragon chicken ?

Dragon chicken is a fusion dish usually made with battered chicken that is fried and then tossed in a spicy sauce.
For the vegan version we use soycurls that are marinated then battered and baked or panfried then tossed in the fiery sauce.

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More Stir-fries:

Print Recipe

5 from 21 votes

Dragon Chicken Soycurls (Indo-Chinese Recipe)

Dragon Chicken Soycurls  – a vegan twist on Indo-Chinese restaurant classic. Soycurls are Marinated and baked then tossed in a fiery spicy sweet cashew pepper sauce. Glutenfree.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: soycurl recipe, vegan chinese chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 236kcal
Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (113.4 g) dry soycurls
  • 1 1/2 cups (354.88 ml) vegetable broth heated to hot

For the marinade:

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce , use tamari for Glutenfree
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or Indian red chili powder or use 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika for less heat
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste or finely minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste or finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons oil divided
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) raw cashews or use roasted
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 dried red chilis use Indian red or cayenne for hot , california red or Kashmiri chilies or mild
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) white parts of green onion reserve the green part for garnish
  • 1/2 green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce or use tamari for gluten free
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or use Asian chili sauce of choice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • green onion for garnish

Instructions

  • Soak your soy curls in the hot vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes. Then drain really well and squeeze out a bit of the excess water. Add to a bowl
  • Marinade: Then to the bowl, add the soy sauce, black pepper, cayenne/chili powder , ginger, and garlic paste, oil  and toss well to coat. Then sprinkle in the cornstarch and toss well to coat the soycurls.
  • Distribute the soy curls over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (206 c) for 15-20 minutes or until crisp to preference. You can also pan-fry these in a skillet with 1-2 teaspoon oil until they’re crisp on the edges. Set aside
  • Make the sauce: add 1 teaspoon oil to a skillet then add cashews if they're not roasted and roast for 3-4 minutes until golden then remove from the skillet. If they're already roasted, then skip this step.
  • Add the other teaspoon oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and dried red chilis and cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden.
  • Then add in the white parts of green onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and a good pinch of salt and mix well and cook until the peppers are starting to turn golden on some of the edges but still crunchy. 2 mins
  • Then add in soy sauce and ketchup and sambal oelek, sugar and black pepper and mix well. Mix cornstarch in water and  Add to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Then add in the crisped soy curls and toasted cashews and toss well then immediately serve over rice. Garnish with some green onion.

Notes

  • For extra sauce, you can add in 1 cup of water instead of 1/3 cup and additional 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed in and bring to a boil. This will add additional sauce to the soy curls.
  • For nut-free, omit cashews and use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds 
  • Soycurl substitute: Use seitan or other vegan chicken subs or jackfruit(squeeze all brine out of jackfruit). Skip soaking in stock. Add to the marinade, then bake or panfry and proceed 
  • soy chunks : they are chewier and need longer soak in hot or boiling water/broth(soak according to instructions on package). After the soak, chop them smaller so that they absorb more of the marinade and then proceed 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Dragon Chicken Soycurls (Indo-Chinese Recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 720mg31%
Potassium 314mg9%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 952IU19%
Vitamin C 66mg80%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Ingredients:

  • bell pepper: Green, yellow or red peppers that give a crunchy and sweet note to your dish. You could either mix and match or can stick with one variety
  • Stir-frying cashew nuts along with dry red chilies, ginger and garlic gives crunchy and spicy flavors to the cashews as well
  • sauce: soy sauce, ketchup, and sambal oelek are the main ingredients that you will need to make the final sauce
  • a touch of sugar is added for sweetness
  • the sauce is thickened with a small amount of cornstarch

Tips:

  • For extra sauce, you can add in 1 cup of water instead and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed in and bring to a boil. This will add additional sauce to the soy curls.
  • Even though I have used sambel oelek in moderate quantity, you could increase it to satisfy your craving for spicy takeout foods
  • This vegan dragon chicken tastes best when served warm and fresh out of the frying pan.

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How to make Vegan Dragon Chicken:

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Soak your soy curls in the hot vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes. Then drain really well and squeeze out a bit of the excess water. Add to a bowl

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Then to the bowl, add the soy sauce, black pepper, cayenne/chili powder, ginger, and garlic paste, oil and toss well to coat. Then sprinkle in the cornstarch and toss well to coat the soy curls.

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Distribute the soy curls over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (206 c) for 15-20 minutes or until crisp to preference. You can also pan-fry these in a skillet with 1-2 teaspoon oil until they’re crisp on the edges. Set aside.

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Make the sauce: add 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet then add cashews if they’re not roasted and roast for 3-4 minutes until golden then remove from the skillet. If they’re already roasted, then skip this step.

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Add the other teaspoon oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and dried red chilis and cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden.

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Then add in the white parts of green onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and a good pinch of salt and mix well and cook until the peppers are starting to turn golden on some of the edges but still crunchy. 2 mins.

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Then add in soy sauce and ketchup and sambal oelek, sugar and black pepper and mix well.

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Mix cornstarch and water, Add to the skillet and bring to a boil.

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Then add in the crisped soy curls and toasted cashews and toss well then immediately serve over rice.

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Garnish with some green onion.

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Garnish with some green onion. These soy curls are crispiest when just done , so toss in the sauce and serve immediately.

Even if you do serve them later, the texture is still great and it makes a fabulous dry-ish side.

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